"The traditional Christmas carol favorites are decked out in all their glory.
This is a running arpeggio of holiday enchantment. " - The San Francisco Chronicle (sfgate.com), 11/22/2011
"Snow Angel" has made Amazon's Hot 100 New Age list!
As the first chills of December creep in, dusting my hedges with frost, I’m celebrating the release of my new album, Snow Angel, by giving away a free download of my song “Winterbluegreen!”
Snow Angel captures the spirit of the Holiday Season by combining original piano compositions with new arrangements of classic Christmas carols. “Winterbluegreen” was inspired by a poem by Robert Francis:
Winter uses all the blues there are.
One shade of blue for water, one for ice,
Another blue for shadows over snow.
The clear or cloudy sky uses blue twice-
Both different blues. And hills row after row
Are colored blue according to how far.
You know the bluejay's double-blur device
Shows best when there are no green leaves to show.
And Sirius is a winterbluegreen star.
In composing this piece, I found myself turning to a simple melody played in the upper register. It captures, for me, the crystalline landscape that Francis crafted with his words.
Whatever imagery this piece may evoke for you, I hope it brings you the sense of calm I experienced in creating it.
I wish you joy and peace this Holiday Season.
My new Holiday album, Snow Angel, will be released on November 22nd! To celebrate, I am gifting a free download of "Thanks," the first song on the album.
The album, which encompasses the Holiday season from Thanksgiving through New Year's Eve, is a collection of my own arrangements of traditional Christmas carols and original, winter-themed works.
Please click here for a free download of "Thanks."
I wish you all the bounty and joy of the Season to come! :)
Today was a beautiful fall day! Walking my dog amidst swirling red Maple leaves, the crunch of dried leaves underfoot, I was reminded of the video for my song, Shimoda. We filmed it in the Chicago Botanic Garden’s Japanese Gardens, also on a breathtaking autumn day.
I’d like to share the Shimoda video with you and, in celebration of fall – my favorite season – I am offering a free download of the song to my fans!
Here is a link to the video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4p1mAeZEw88
Here is a little about the inspiration behind the music:
Shimoda is a port city at the tip of Japan’s Izu Peninsula. It is also the setting of a tragic legend – the story of a geisha named Okichi.
Born in 1841, Okichi was the daughter of ship’s carpenter. Her status as a geisha was a boon to the family’s meager fortune. Despite this, her father gave his consent for her to marry for love – to another carpenter named Tsurumatsu.
The ill-fated Okichi, however, caught the eye of Townsend Harris, the first US Consul General to Japan, who spotted her leaving a bathhouse. Negotiations between the countries were not going well and local politicians determined the girl should become Harris’s mistress in the hopes of gaining his goodwill. After much pressure, she agreed.
Okichi lived with Harris as his concubine for five years. After Harris left Japan, the people of Shimoda – Tsurumatsu included – shunned her, calling her “Tojin” (“Barbarian.”)
She turned to drink and struggled to make a living, first by running a salon and, later, managing an inn called the “Anchoki-Ro.” (The building still stands in downtown Shimoda – it is now a sushi shop.)
Okichi ended her life by drowning herself in the sea, a symbol of sacrifice and lost love.
Yet her story has endured. Okichi, it is said, was the inspiration behind Giacomo Puccini’s magnificent opera Madame Butterfly. Her life was also depicted in The Barbarian and the Geisha, a 1958 film starring John Wayne as Townsend Harris.
I, too, was captivated by Okichi and found myself dwelling on the legend when I began composing a piece in pentatonic scale, using only the piano’s black keys. Through it, I sought to capture the beauty of Shimoda as well as the poignancy of Okichi’s story.
I was incredibly fortunate to have that exquisite fall day in the Chicago Botanic Garden’s Japanese Gardens as the setting for the Shimoda video. The images we captured there conjure up the unique beauty of Japan while the song takes you on Okichi’s emotional journey.
I hope it carries you away for a few minutes of serenity!
I was very excited to learn that my piece "There is Another Sky" is the number one song on the One World Radio playlist!
To celebrate, I am offering it as a free download! Click here to get the song: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Michele-de-Wilton/26000011732?sk=app_2405167945
This piece was inspired by a poem by Emily Dickinson, which I'd also like to share with you:
There is another sky,
Ever serene and fair,
And there is another sunshine,
Though it be darkness there;
Never mind faded forests, Austin,
Never mind silent fields—
Here is a little forest,
Whose leaf is ever green;
Here is a brighter garden,
Where not a frost has been;
In its unfading flowers
I hear the bright bee hum:
Prithee, my brother,
Into my garden come!
I hope you enjoy the poem and the music it inspired! :)
Hi: Please pardon the dust while I am building my new web site. I hope everyone is having a great time getting ready for Halloween! In the "spirit" of the holiday, I'm offering a free download of my new piece "Ghost of My Heart." Also, please enjoy my video of the Ice Maiden (just follow the link). I had a great time wearing the masks in this video -- the masks are molded leather original creations from an artist in New Orleans and really helped me get into character!
Look for more information on my new album "Snow Angel" next week -- the album will be released on November 20th. "Snow Angel" is a collection of my own arrangements of classic Christmas songs as well as original compositions inspired by the winter season. It is the perfect album for trimming the tree, wrapping presents or having cocktails with friends; I can't wait for you to hear it!